Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday Open Thread

For your calendar, SPED PTSA General Meeting on Monday, October 28th from 7-9 pm at JSCEE. Tracy Libros will be coming to answer questions about boundaries and SPED.  There will be an update on C-CAP as well.

What's on your mind?

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anyone know why it's taking so long to get MAP scores? Have your schools advised that scores will be lower now that we've transitioned to the common-core-aligned-version?

BnS

Anonymous said...

I can't vote for Blanford, and his opponent is very, very unfit to serve, in my opinion.

So, what I am going to do? Write in Kay Smith-Blum's name on my ballot. I suggest you consider doing the same, if you too cannot vote for Dr. Blanford if his ethos does not square with yours.

I may not always agree with her, and, she may say she is done, but, Ms. Smith-Blum is better than Dr. Blanford, even if she endorses Dr. Blanford. She is hard-working, knows the lay of the land, and has something to offer.

I value voting, and, I can't just vote for someone (Blanford) just because I have to vote against someone else (Green) who is worse. That is why I will be writing in Ms. Smith-Blum's name. She is someone I could vote for.

-WRITE IN!!

Anonymous said...

The source log in now says, "MAP Scores have not yet been posted to the Source. They are expected to be available the week of October 27." Haven't heard anything from our schools about adjustments.
--Kay

Anonymous said...

BnS: no to the first question, I don't know why the scores are late arriving to the Source. My child has remembered his Fall 2013 testing CCSS-aligned MAP scores in reading and math and shared them with me. He's accurately reported every MAP test score he's received (we don't go through the strand levels or percentile ranks, just the immediate scores).

I do see that in NWEA's Common Core Transition for Primary Grades testing document an alert that MAP scores could drop. My child's scores did not drop from Spring to Fall, nor did the slopes of his material mastery "growth rate" flatten, but rather steepened by 186% of the extended trendline in reading by 96% in math. He could be currently outside NWEA's definition of primary grade.

My child is in a K-8 school, so it would not surprise me if the school did share to primary grade parents that Common Core-aligned MAP tests could be lower as the school transitions to CCSS.
--Data Ignomomus

Anonymous said...

The scores are supposed be on The Source by the Monday after the testing window closes, so that would be yesterday.

It would not surprise me if there is a trend that's looking problematic with the new CCSS version.

NEP

Lynn said...

Here's the Strategic Plan Performance Measures Work Session Agenda and Presentation.

Anonymous said...

The Washington State Institute for Public Policy just released a report called "Innovative Schools in Washington: What Lessons Can Be Learned." The report includes Thornton Creek and Aviation High School as well as other schools around the State. Nothing earth-shattering but it's interesting reading. Some of the findings are:

The designated innovative schools are extremely varied in their missions, student populations, and strategies.

 Unfortunately, given the small number of schools, we cannot establish a cause-and-effect relationship between the innovations and student achievement.

 We find no evidence that test score outcomes for the designated innovative schools as a group are different from other schools in the state. A few innovative schools have achieved higher than expected outcomes given their student characteristics; others have not.

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov/pub.asp?docid=13-07-2201

Jane

Mary Griffin said...

Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts has sent the Department of Education a letter with several questions pertaining to the protection of students personally identifiable information.http://1.usa.gov/1ccjgTR

In the letter, Senator Markey asks Secretary of Education Arne Duncan how K-12 schools are outsourcing management and assessment of student data, including intimate details like disabilities, to technology vendors.

“By collecting detailed personal information about students’ test results and learning abilities, educators may find better ways to educate their students,” Senator Markey wrote in the letter. “However, putting the sensitive information of students in private hands raises a number of important questions about the privacy rights of parents and their children.”

“Sensitive information such as students’ behavior and participation patterns also may be included in files outsourced to third-party data firms and potentially distributed more widely to additional companies without parental consent,” Senator Markey wrote. “Such loss of parental control over their child’s educational records and performance information could have longstanding consequences for the future prospects of students.” See more in the New York Times Article at http://nyti.ms/H8WNJp.

I believe Senator Markey is right to question how our children’s privacy is being protected. I think the Department of Education, the National PTA, state and federal legislators as well as local school boards should spend more time examining this issue, informed by the concerns of groups that are not connected with the data/testing industrial complex.

ben said...

I have to admit even though I don't really approve much of the MAP testing that the fact the scores exist drive me crazy and I end up logging into the Source to check them out. Next time I'm going to have to opt my son out.

Ben

Protest Vote said...

I won't vote for Bland-ford, either. I will join others in a protest vote by a writing- in a name.

Varners comments about Blandford not necessarily being for or against charters is disturbing.

Anonymous said...

Me too, Ben. And though I know our teachers have our scores, i won't let myself ask on general principle.

NEP

mirmac1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mirmac1 said...

Yes. Opt out.

I faced clear evidence that some teachers only look at your kid as a test score, before they know ANYTHING about your child. I told him, uh uh, my child is not a number!

BTW, that was the MSP. I've opted my child out of MAP since '09

Anonymous said...

FYI:

Seattle Public Schools invites you to a Community Meeting on the
Jane Addams Building BEX IV Construction Project

Date: Thursday, November 7, 2013
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Location: Jane Addams Building, 11051 34 Ave NE
Room: Cafeteria

Dear Jane Addams area communities,
Because you live in the greater Jane Addams building area, you are receiving this letter.

Seattle voters approved the Seattle Public Schools Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) Capital Levy in February 2013, which includes the construction project to repurpose the Jane Addams building to become an attendance area Middle School.

The meeting will be presented by representatives of Seattle Public Schools BEX IV Capital Projects Team, the Jane Addams Middle School planning principal and Hutteball & Oremus Architecture, who will provide information about the project’s early construction design progress. You will be able to learn more about the construction project’s scope, schedule and design exploration. You will be able to ask questions and give us input and feedback. We hope that you will be able to join us!
This meeting is not related to boundaries issues, but only to the construction project to repurpose the building to become a Middle School. As you may know, boundary changes have not been made: the Board is scheduled to vote on any possible changes at its November 20 Board meeting.
For more information, please visit http://bex.seattleschools.org

Sincerely,
Seattle Public Schools Capital Projects Team

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know if kids with IEP's take the MAP? It was not clear to me if my 1st grader (in an inclusion program) would take it.

-Wondering

Anonymous said...

Proposed boundary changes... the OV/Maple Leaf community is finally starting to realize what the District is trying to do to their school/community. Lots of discussion going on within the community (on the ML News site, in the coffee shops, among neighbors chatting on the street...)

http://www.mapleleaflife.com/2013/10/20/comment-by-tomorrow-on-new-school-boundaries/comment-page-1/#comment-19321

-ML Mama

mirmac1 said...

Wondering,

Everyone and their sister take it. You must intentionally opt your child out.

If the district used its discretion to test some and not others, it would mess with the NWEA's finely tuned (NOT) national database. That is why accomodations are strictly controlled. They want to market their product as truly representative of...what?

I love to mess with that : )

Anonymous said...

Wondering,

I have seen kids with IEPs take the MAP. But I have never seen them get their accommodations for the MAP.

-occasional proctor

erik tanen said...

FYI,
Drove by the Mann building today and saw a lot of Aficatown activity, but no work being done. Is the district just going to give in to them. I thought a deal had been worked out with them and they were to have left by now.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Erik, I am hearing the same. It is quite unclear to me if the building has been secured by the district.

A lot of gamemanship going on but it leads me to wonder what happens when construction finally starts?

Anonymous said...

Yes, kids with IEPs take the MAP, and I personally test them to ensure that they get their accommodations. Kids with IEPs also take the MSP, even if they can't read it. They also take it with me so they get accommodations and have a private place to cry. Legally mandated abuse.

-sped teacher

Anonymous said...

Gee Sped Teacher, isn't that being a little dramatic. If your students shouldn't be taking the MSP, you can have them do the WAAS portfolio. It is an option that very few IEP teams avail themselves of. And, if they have any hope of getting a 2, or improving, then what is the harm in giving them the test. It needn't be negative. Those tests needn't be abusive. Giving tests to students who have absolutely no hope of passing them, yes that's abusive.

-sped parent

Anonymous said...

"Does anybody know if kids with IEP's take the MAP? It was not clear to me if my 1st grader (in an inclusion program) would take it.-Wondering"

Wondering, if you have a kid on an IEP you have to get in there and ask. You can't assume anything. (Ok, you can assume the worst.)

Yes they may test your kid on MAP etc but they may -- and do -- give only the barest nod in the direction of accommodations. Remember, this is the District where the "culture of low expectations" for students with IEPs got its name. Your kid's now basically been branded as somebody whose low performance will be expected. That is the district opt out culture for our students with disabilities.

reader

Anonymous said...

my child still needs to take a make up MAP due to illness, and I was inquiring just today about the timing.. the district calendar published the close of testing window (thus i think scores published monday following) as this coming friday. but that was just recently extended through the next week.

-Diane

Anonymous said...

Erik T-
I too am confused as to what is happening @ Mann, what the agreement is. I know Africatown has hosted events the past couple of weekends, including banner drops supporting ACIC at Mann.

I have seen what appear to be work trucks on site a couple times, but no signs of work yet.

QUAD

Mike said...

Saw this on Andrew Sullivan's blog:

http://garyrubinstein.teachforus.org/2013/10/19/death-of-math/

"Two hundred years ago, students who finished high school learned about as much mathematical content as modern fifth graders learn today. And over the past 200 years, topics were gradually added to the curriculum until the textbooks have become giant bloated monstrosities. And though the modern high schooler ‘learns’ algebra, geometry, algebra II and trigonometry, statistics, and maybe even precalculus and calculus, the average adult still only remembers about as much as the adults from 200 ago did, or about what the average fifth grader is supposed to have learned."

Lynn said...

Erik T and QUAD,

Horace Mann School

Lynn said...

I think these are the October enrollment numbers.

Anonymous said...

Superintendent Recommends Closure of Pinehurst.

From the School Beat newsletter out today, http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?sessionid=10172216b14b5d42cb168512d4783eaa&pageid=302488&sessionid=10172216b14b5d42cb168512d4783eaa

:-(

-StepJ

mirmac1 said...

StepJ,

I'm sorry to hear that. I pushed for the Decatour option.

I would comment that the rationale and analysis is thorough and presented in a transparent manner, more than we ever got from the MGJ or Enfield administrations. I believe this is a reflection on Mr. Banda.

Peanut said...

Just got the School Beat email from the District, which says there are part-time crossing guard positions available.

Looked at the list of schools on it, which got me wondering which schools have crossing guards - paid or not.

Neighborhood schools yes, option schools no?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Peanut, I think it depends on the school's budget. The City used to pay for them (and I have told both mayoral candidates if they want to help, the City could put that back in the budget).

I do not believe the district pays for more than a small number of crossing guards.

Parents, is your PTA paying for guards?

mirmac1 said...

Stopped by the Strategic Plan Work Session. OMG, what a snoozefest! ZZzzzzz.....

search4chin said...

The superintendents proposal to close Pinehurst K-8 (AS#1) isn't new news. This month's newsletter is just the first opportunity they had to post his initial recommendation closure. When you click on the link, it goes to his recommendation from Sept 23rd, so don't panic. This isn't his final recommendation, not to say that he's totally on board with keeping the school open, but his final recommendation is scheduled to be posted today sometime. Keep your fingers crossed and send him emails and call his voicemail to voice your opinion.
Danny

Willia said...

Seems like all the APP problems may become moot if the district continues to ramp up rigor at neighborhood schools. I know three families that have chosen not to go to Hamilton and are satisfied. I know the district has data on this type of student and I wish they would release aggregate data. Hopefully they look at it to make their decisions.

Lynn said...

Willia,
Where are these neighborhood schools where the district is ramping up rigor? The problem is - schools make these decisions independently. The district needs to make this a priority at every school.

Willia said...

Charlie recently listed all the changes at the high school level and the middle schools moving all kids into Algebra are a few examples. There is Mercer's amazing math progress. Don't think the district doesn't follow all these things. How about IB and STEM and academies at Ballard?
Why are you so negative about kids not in APP getting rigor? Are you afraid that they might actually do better than the good testers if given the chance?

Lynn said...

Willia,
Did you read what I wrote? So many posters say that their biggest complaint about their neighborhood school is the lack of access to more rigorous work. I think every school should have access to this - it shouldn't be dependent on PTA funding or a principal's personal philosophy. And yes, the high schools seem to be getting better at this - but I don't think most elementary middle schools are.
Speaking of high schools - as an example, Ballard should not be limiting access to their academies. If students have the academic qualifications for a program in their neighborhood school, a seat should be made available to them.

Willia said...

Middle school algebra for 6th graders is a step and LA honors can be whatever it is- sometime better than APP

Lynn said...

McLure is placing all eighth graders in Algebra this year - ready or not. The head of their math department doesn't believe in offering algebra to sixth graders though. Those are the kinds of policies that should be made district-wide - not based on an individual teacher or principal's feelings. The quality of the LA classes offered to a student shouldn't depend on the neighborhood they live in.

Anonymous said...

Contradiction
District policy is algebra for 6th graders yet you defer to teacher
Honors LA better than APP you defer to district

Ion

Lynn said...

I'm sorry - I'm not sure I understand your comment. Could you clarify?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Ballard doesn't have IB or STEM. I'm thinking Willa may not have the best info.